Dwight Freeney Q&A
*Q: The Houston Texans, are you out to get revenge after the first game?
"Well, I know we will go out there and obviously want to win this one, but we're not going into any game thinking that. Obviously, this counts twice and we have some making up with the fact that we've lost. We're 0-2 in the division now. So, it is going to be a very important game, not to say that other games aren't either, but they are well-coached and it's going to be a tough challenge."*
Q: Can you talk about the game Texans running back Arian Foster had in the first game this season?
"I think it's a combination of a lot of things of why that happened. It just wasn't him. It was the offensive line, there were a lot of conflicting things, but we are going to go out there understanding that they have success and not just against us. They've had some success against other teams, so I think that's definitely going to be a focus of ours."
Q: What did you guys learn from Week 1 that you could use Monday night?
"Well, just don't hurt yourself. I know I can't speak from a team standpoint, but I know from a lot of those big, long runs, because whenever you have a team gaining like 200 yards (rushing) on you or whatever, it's a lot of self-inflicted problems. So don't hurt yourself."
Q: Is there ever a danger of this team getting too much hype for a game like this, knowing what's at stake?
"No, you play this game with emotion and energy and that's just how you do it. I don't care if it's a regular-season game, and obviously you know you've got playoff games where you're exploding before the game and you've got Monday night games where you definitely have high energy for those games, too. We kind of understand what it is."
Q: Do you have to win this game to have a shot to win the division?
"We take every week the same way. It's not any different. I don't care if we're playing anybody else, other than the fact that it counts twice because we are playing a division opponent. So from that standpoint, yes we want to win the game and we know we need to win the game. Is it all over if we don't? Absolutely not. There are still nine more games after that. So anything could happen."
Q: With all the injuries on the offense, how is that changing things for the defense, or is it?
"Not at all. Injuries happen and that's the National Football League. Every team gets hurt. We've been hurt on defense, we're hurt on offense a little bit. Other teams have been hurt, but no one cares. At the end of the day, we have to try to win the game and that's what it comes down to."
Q: Does one phase try to pick it up for the other in a situation like this?
"No, because that almost suggests that we're not always trying. We play the same way all the time. And no matter if it's that they're a little banged up or what have you, we're not thinking, 'Oh, they're banged up, we have to play harder.' Well, that's like we didn't play hard (in the first place). No, we always play hard, and hopefully we can go out there and do what we have to do."
Q: What do you think about former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy going to the Ring of Honor?
"Well, obviously Tony means so much to this city, the state, this team, me personally, the defense. No one deserves it more than him. All the things he's been through and just the way he coaches and carries himself as a man, as a coach."
Q: Do you try to forget what happened in the first game at Houston, or do you use that?
"Well, you can't forget it because it just happened, but you just have to (learn from) the problems. You have issues or problems and you have to try to fix those problems. Obviously you are playing the same opponent, so it would be pretty stupid (not to learn from) certain things that didn't work or use that to help you this time as preparing for the game. I guess maybe from an emotional standpoint you could sit there and say, 'Well, you know what, you lost last time and I'm going to go out there and….' You can do that if you are one of those guys. Or you can say, 'You know what, that was the past, we've corrected the problems, let's move on.' So I think you can look at it both ways, and I think guys use both ways."
Q: Can you recall anytime since you've been here where you have had so many major guys on one side of the ball injured?
"You know, there was one year that there was a lot of them. I don't know what year it was, but I just remember looking around and saying, 'Who's this?' At defensive tackle one year, Booger McFarland got hurt and someone else got hurt and we were just grabbing guys, but from an overall standpoint I think this is, this has to be. I don't see how it could be worse. We've lost (a lot) of our safeties and obviously Mookie (Johnson) is down now. I think we have a lot more depth now on defense, though, because of maybe the years past. The years past we've had so many injuries on defense, I think that helps us now a little bit because now those guys who have had to replace those guys have more experience. So, it's almost as if no one has been hurt because those guys have been playing."